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Appreciating Our Wealth (Part II)

by Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier - TheShmuz.com

If we study the world HASHEM created, we find many features that have no functional purpose and were put here strictly for man to enjoy. For example food -- Food is something that we need to maintain our energy levels and health. If its only function were nutrition and nothing more, then all the foods that we eat should taste like soggy cardboard. Yet they don’t. There are so many different and varied types of foods, each with its own unique flavor, texture, and aroma. Why? Why not make it all taste like oatmeal? Again, for one reason: so that man should enjoy. So that eating, which we have to do, shouldn’t be a chore but should be delightful. Taste is something that HASHEM added solely for our benefit -- for our pleasure.

An awful lot of thought went into creating the different foods that we eat. Rabbi Avigdor Miller once described an orange. He said, when you peel an orange, inside there are wedges. If you look closely, each of these wedges is surrounded by a thin membrane. When you pull back the membrane and look inside, you will see many tiny sacks. Inside each of those sacks is the juice of the orange. Why did HASHEM create an orange in that manner, with thousands of little sacks? The reason is simple: to further enhance our enjoyment. Did you ever see one of those children’s candies, with a liquid center? They’re advertised with the slogan, ‘Bite in for a burst of flavor.’ When you bite into an orange you also get a burst of flavor. Because the juice of the orange is contained within those many small sacks, when you bite into it, there is a release of juice in the form of a burst; and that adds to the enjoyment of eating the orange.  HASHEM created those sacks so that there would be another dimension to our enjoyment. The sensation of eating an orange would be different without this feature. It still would have tasted delicious but this is an additional aspect that HASHEM wanted us to enjoy, so He designed an orange in this way.


Do you ever wonder why apples are red on the outside?


It is for the same reason that laundry detergents come packaged in bright colors. Proctor and Gamble spent millions of dollars on research to determine which color has the greatest eye appeal. They have done countless studies proving that putting Tide in a bright, neon orange container will result in more sales. Housewives like it better -- it has more eye appeal -- and therefore they will reach for it before the other detergents.  Cheerios has been in that same yellow box for 50 years now! Studies show that shade of yellow sells more boxes of cereal than any other color. People simply prefer it.


So too, HASHEM made apples red, because it is nicer to look at, and that makes the process of eating an apple more enjoyable. As any chef knows, the presentation adds much to the enjoyment of the dish. So, HASHEM designed the foods that we eat, in a manner that they should have eye appeal, to enhance our experience of eating.  Keep in mind, food is only needed to provide nourishment. Any other feature that we find is there because HASHEM had a specific reason for it; many of those were created simply so that we should have greater pleasure and enjoyment.    


Here is another example: What happens when you bite into an apple? You don’t get that burst of flavor that you got when you bit into an orange. You get a crunch. Why is that? Why not design all fruit the same? The reason why an apple is crunchy is because it is fun to crunch on food. That’s why your local supermarket has an entire aisle, 75 feet long, floor to ceiling, stocked with breakfast cereals, each one bragging to be crispier then the next. “Crispy”, “Crispier, “Crispiest” “Ours is so crispy we even include ear plugs!”.


Why is each food manufacturer trying to get you to think that their cereal is the most crispy? Because it is fun to bite into something crunchy; we like that sensation when we eat. So General Mills makes their cereals crunchy, and when HASHEM made apples He designed the cells to form hard walls, so that when we bite into it we get a texture that provides a crunch. It didn’t have to be that way. G-d designed it that way, so that we should enjoy it.


For the life of me I still can’t figure out why bananas are mushy!  But I guess that sometimes we are in the mood for a texture that is soft and squishy.


What about aroma? Did you ever find yourself in a restaurant, and the waiter brought out your favorite dish? Your mouth was watering at the sight of it. But you had a cold, and when you began eating it, somehow it didn’t taste right. You just couldn’t enjoy it.  Scientists now recognize that most of our sense of taste comes through smells. When HASHEM created food, He added this dimension of wonderful aromas to enhance our taste experience. Each of the different foods that we enjoy, not only have different tastes and textures, they all have markedly different smells, which contributes to our total enjoyment.


Did you ever notice that when you peel an orange, as you break the outer skin, a fine mist of juice sprays up? The next time you peel one, pay attention and you will see that the skin has tiny bubbles in it. When they break open, they create that fine mist that emits the delicate aroma of an orange. Why go through all of the effort to design those tiny bubbles of juice in the skin? For one reason, so that when you peel an orange, you will smell the fragrance and hunger for it. When you hunger for food your enjoyment of it is increased.


It wasn’t enough that the flavor of the orange was made so special with a mix of sweetness and tang, and the wedges were made up of little sacks to provide that ‘burst of flavor’. Maybe we wouldn’t be quite hungry enough, so HASHEM designed these tiny bubbles in the skin, to further increase our enjoyment. It didn’t have to be that way. To get our daily dosage of vitamin C we could have done just a well without all of the enhancements. But HASHEM wanted to add pleasure to our eating.


We were given so many different and varied forms of food. From roast beef, to chicken, to hot dogs, to avocados, to yogurt, to bananas, to pickles, to olives, to strawberries, to salmon; so many assorted spices and flavors all different and varied. If you look at a typical salad, you will see so many different shapes, textures, and flavors: tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, lettuce, mushrooms; each one distinct, each one contributing its unique qualities to the whole. Why? Why create them that way? Why not make them all brown like beans and tasting like potatoes? The reason is because that wouldn’t have been fun. The food we eat comes in so many assorted flavors and textures, each one appealing to a different element of our tastes. HASHEM pre planned and created all of this for us to enjoy.


Yet how many times do we actually take the time to enjoy the foods that we eat? How much attention do we pay to taking pleasure from the sights that we see? It takes training and concentration to consciously choose to enjoy the life that we lead. If we do, we will see a tremendous amount of detail and concern put in for man to enjoy. And we will see a tremendous demonstration of the kindness that HASHEM shows to man.

Click here for Part Three



The Shmuz”, an engaging and motivating Torah lecture that deals with real life issues is available for FREE at www.TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz on the Parsha Book, a compilation on all of Chumash is now available for purchase either in your local Sefarim store, or at the Shmuz.com



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